The Art of Fiction

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The Art of Fiction
Writing Course
Course CodeFICT
Year Opened1983
Sites OfferedLAN
Previously OfferedCAR, JHU, NOR, SAR
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Course Description

The Art of Fiction, formerly known as Advanced Fiction, is a very advanced class for devoted writing students. To complete the course, a student is required to present two works of short fiction.

This course is an in-depth look at fictitious stories and the methods used to write them; the instructor, Mike Martin, has been teaching at CTY for ten years, has taught Lady GaGa (Stefani Germanotta), and contributes enormously to the growth of young writers. Not only do you write two stories during the course of three weeks, but you come home with prompts and suggestions to improve your writing in the future.

Classes

10.1 The instructor, Mike, is basically fantastic. We're pretty sure he has ADD and will have random outbursts which are extremely hilarious. In 2010, session 1, he was discussing how he hates that all blues music is the same. He sang a random tune and that become one of the many inside jokes. "Woke up one mornin'...shot ma woman in the head". Because it was a writing class, we got to use laptops and had flashdrives to transfer files for workshopping. One time, in the middle of class Mike was looking for his flashdrive and one of the students held it up to show they had it. Without warning, Mike burst into song saying, "Funky Funky Flash Drive!" in the tune of "everybody dance now". From then on, whenever we were together as a class, like at symposiums or rounding up in the morning or after meals, someone would yell FUNKY FUNKY FLASH DRIVE and everyone in the class would start dancing and singing along. All of these inside jokes are part of the reason kids keep coming back after doing the prerequisites to take Fiction because the class is always so cool.

LAN 15.1 This was the first year Advanced Fiction was taught at Lancaster. Our class consisted of 8 students (Leslie, Katherine, Bella, Elise, Sam, Olivia, Sasha, and Anna) and was probably the smallest class at LAN but also consisted entirely of nomores/nevermores except for one student . The class was taught by Norman Prentiss who replaced the much loved previous instructor and TA'd by Julie. In a span of three weeks, our instructor expected us to write two short stories and have both workshopped, much to the dismay of the class. Most of us didn't finish both stories due to lack of time and us becoming very burnt out by the 3rd week. Nonetheless, we did receive helpful feedback (although our instructor was a bit too nice). Our class had various inside jokes including our love for our table Alfred Piccolo, the various drawing videos we watched, among other jokes. At the end of the course, our TA compiled an anthology of our short stories which many of us to this day, have not opened. Great course for serious writers but be prepared to write and read all day, every day (also not a very popular course among boys so if that's what you're looking for, this is probably not the best course for you. Learned that the hard way...)

LAN 17.1 This year, the Advanced Fiction students dubbed their class "Advanced Gay Lying" because most of the class (including instructor (G)norman “Normie” Prentiss, who writes gay horror stories that you should check out, and TA, icon and savior Liz Lvov) was gay, and many of the stories written that session, were, in fact, very gay. The class also consisted of Benja, Neiki, Quin, Anne, Casey, Sienna, Elizabeth, Kerry, Victoria, and Claire. When analyzing texts, Liz and the students would search for gay characters and undertones. Other students may have spotted some the students, known as the Kazoo Krew TM, loudly kazooing Christmas songs on their way to and from class, much to the chagrin of Norman. Some of the class’s other favorite hobbies were Cutthroat Uno, in which one must scream very loudly and the kazoos were at stake!, and English was sometimes banned. They also enjoyed listening to terrible Soundcloud music, such as “Scorpion Song” and Jester Casey “brb” Waite’s rendition of “Let it Snow,” which became famous campwide when it was played during a rave circle. The Advanced Gay Lying room was filled with rocks from the college class that usually took place there. Many of the rocks were named over the course of the session, and terrible rock puns were made (“GraFITE ME”- Sienna Axe). The room was also in a terrible state- especially Casey and Sienna’s section of the back desk, which was covered in ink, chalk, and suspicious substances- which annoyed both TA Liz and camper and fellow desk mate Elizabeth Hawk to no end. This lead to the Great Wall of pencils and eventually the line of chalk separating the two desks. The class occasionally wrote things instead of goofing around, and did fun exercises, such as Pass the Story, Bring Your Own Book, and Exquisite Corpse (which was subsequently banned). There were also actual stories written, notably Mothman, penned by Benja, which was hilarious and brilliant. Everyone had different writing styles and learned as much from each other as they did from their teachers.